Tuesday, March 3, 2015


Found this old cook book at Half Price Books of all places, in the clearance section.  For a DOLLAR!  I was not going to pass this up!

Page after page of recipes, and many of them are stained and spotted, always a sign of a well used (and loved) cookbook...

There are even a few neat, old photos and drawings.

The original Boston Cooking School book was published in 1896 and then every few years after that...and it's by by Fannie Merritt Farmer!  This edition was published in 1924 which makes it in pretty good shape for 91 years old.  We are going to have a special shelf at the farm for all our old cookbooks.  We have a lot of newer ones (some might say too many, ha) so we're trying to just limit our purchases now to older, vintage cookbooks as we can find them. 

Sometimes, the best recipes are the older ones!

Monday, March 2, 2015


Since the weekend was cold, wet, and nasty, there wasn't much I could do outside.  I went back through some photos I took a few months ago and wanted to share these...  

This is something we'd like to keep and turn into something special.  It's a grove of trees that we've only ever seen from a distance.  It sits near the natural pond site.  Until a few months ago, we couldn't ever get this close.  But thanks to "R" from 2nd Family and his tractor with brush hog, he cleared out all around the pond site and now we can walk right over to them.

Grove of Trees
Anyone hazard to guess what kind of trees they are?  

There aren't any others like them on the property.  In the middle of Winter of course, with all the leaves dropped off, it might be a bit difficult, but hopefully someone can lead us down the right path...so to speak, LOL.  They are tall and thin and the branches grow kind of up at an angle as you can see below.

Now that we can walk 'into' it, we love it even more.  They have grown in such a way that they've created a sort of secret garden that we see much potential in.  Table?  Chairs?  Hammock?  Sure, it needs some cleaning up so you can stand up and walk around with having to duck your head but otherwise it's almost more of a 'woodland' type area.  We could see ferns and other shade loving plants and flowers (bulbs?) growing.  

This grove of trees is a wholly unique spot on the entire property and those we have to nourish and encourage. 

Secret Garden
By the way, the pond site we don't 'believe' is spring fed, we think it's just the right combination of clay soil and depression in the ground to hold water.  Someday, we will have the pond site dug out and built up around it and then filled with water.  And of course we'll stock it with fish.  

And then, this spot will have a 'waterfront' view...

Sunday, March 1, 2015


Our apolgoies to those up North, but it was COLD here today.  And rainy.  So it was wet cold.  At noon it was 40 and felt like 34.  Needless to say, nothing got done outside...

So...a big batch of veggies, sautéed in a pan...

Plus meat and some broth and herbs...

About 3 hours in the oven...


Pot roast with a side of green beans and bacon

And the cold day faded away!


Fight Food Waste, vintage poster image courtesy of wikicommons
This is a fascinating poster image.  The USDA put this out for the Bureau of Home Economics, and as they always do, it promoted conservation.  It also had a bit of a military tie in, for WWII, with it starting out "Join the Ranks"...but then the words are as true today as they were then.  

"Buy to save, Serve to save, and Store to save.

Fight Food Waste in the Home...it's funny that I found this image, just the other day, 2nd Man and I were noticing that when we see some of our neighbors trash bins (this is in town and we have to line them all up in front of our house once a week, lucky us, ha) there is so much food that is thrown away.  I couldn't tell you the last time we threw away food.  We either cook small enough batches to eat it all at one meal, or we put up what we don't use to save for future meals.

We can only imagine what stores must throw away...

Saturday, February 28, 2015


It was cold today, and gray and rainy.  
Not much I could do outside...

Of course, it wasn't too cold for the neighbor cow...she was not interested in me until I clicked the camera...then she looked over for her moment, ha.  

I did have these that I could put together...

...and so I did.  They are beehive stands that were delivered yesterday.

Metal hive stand
Here is what one looks like with the hive on it.  It lifts them off the ground and keeps them safer from animals.  They are made of powder coated steel so they will last for years.  And they look neat too!

We heard some noise behind the house and went back there to see.  It was the cow I saw earlier...with a few friends.  It's still so peaceful to walk around outside and have cows peering at us.

Pork medallions with asparagus, potatoes and gravy
All that was left to do was make dinner.  Pan grilled asparagus, pork tenderloins, mashed potatoes and homemade gravy.  It might have been cold and gray but it was still a good day in the end!

Hope you have are having a good weekend so far!

Friday, February 27, 2015


And a bit more of our youth slips away...

Leonard Nimoy passed away today.  I'll admit, big old Trekkie here (and so is 2nd Man as well as many of our extended family and friends).  Others from the cast have passed as well over the years, but he was special.  We all probably identified with one of the characters on the show, and I perhaps identified with him the most.  Someone different, someone who might be considered an outcast in different circumstances, but someone that proved they could rise above any those differences and do good things.  

I had the pleasure of meeting him in person when I was younger, and I can say he was the kindest and most genuine "star" you could ever meet.  He truly appreciated the fans.  How fitting that his final, beautiful tweet was a quote with a garden reference about life...

On February 22, he tweeted:

"A life is like a garden.  Perfect moments can be had, but not preserved, except in memory.  LLAP"

Thank you Mr. Nimoy, for making my childhood more adventurous and my adulthood more purposeful.

You lived long, but not long enough, and you made us prosper.


Not sure if we've ever shared this angle of the house.  It's the back, from what is essentially the backyard, near the fig trees.  

The two window units are in the windows of each bedroom.  The little window in between them is the bathroom.  On the left side of the picture is the set of stairs that lead off the porch and toward Barnabas (the party/dinner tree) from the front door, and on the right side of the picture, the bump out where the roof slopes down, is the dining room.

Back of farmhouse, pier and beam
For those not familiar, this house is what's called "pier and beam".  There is no concrete foundation or "slab", instead the house is built up, on "piers" which are the concrete cinder blocks (often bricks are used as well) and across each of those lies a "beam".  It is this beam that the floor of the house sits on.  The upside is that it makes it very easy for working underneath the house, for example moving pipes if you are plumbing, running wiring (though ours is mostly in the attic and walls) and/or leveling the house.  There are a couple of downsides to this as well.  One is that creatures can get under your house, and the other is that in Winter, you have to worry about freezing pipes.  

Now most homes like this put up lattice or something along the bottom to keep out the animals and this is something we have planned.  It's on our list but just not quite at the "top" yet.  Then of course planting bushes and other plants around the outside to keep it looking nice is important as well...we haven't done that yet because when we work on the exterior and have the roof done, we figured no point in getting everything trampled down.  But that being said, it looks a bit barren, I might plant a few things this Spring.

Thursday, February 26, 2015


Planting areas in yard, image courtesy of Southernliving.com
Here in the middle of Winter, cold, dreary, and (for many of us) frozen...it's nice to see pretty pictures like this and dream of Spring, right?  We love the various ares of plantings in this picture.  We're also leaning toward painting our garden fence white.  We have let it weather but we still keep coming back to pictures with white picket fences and we love it so much.  

We will have that to think about this Spring and so many other things to do, but of course, it's fun to plan and dream now.  Where does one start with something like this?  Perhaps right around the fence and then spread outward...

Be inspired!

Wednesday, February 25, 2015


Since it's cold and the added warmth in the house is OK, we broke out the dehydrator.  We decided to try mushrooms and bought two packages that were on sale.  They were white and baby bella varieties.

Buying them already sliced made it so much easier to start them.  We put them on two trays, one bag on each, and dried them at 125 degrees for about 12 hours.

Whoa, where did they go?  LOL!  They're all there, just much smaller than they were when they started.  Amazing how much moisture they hold.  Nevertheless, we bagged them, vacuum sealed them and stored them in the pantry, until the right recipe comes along!